EFPR Group Joins CPAmerica

Rochester, N.Y.-based EFPR Group (FY17 net revenue of $25.4 million) has joined the accounting association CPAmerica, which has welcomed seven firms this year.

EFPR Group has three offices in New York in Rochester, Buffalo and Corning, and one in Jupiter, Fla. The firm’s services include tax planning and preparation, international business consulting, attest and compliance services, forensic accounting and litigation services, business valuation and M&A support, government and nonprofit services, client accounting and finance outsourcing, and IT/cybersecurity services.

James Marasco, MP of EFPR Group, says he looks forward to the collaboration the association provides. “The services and talents our firm offers should meld well with those of the existing members.”

Alan Deichler, president of CPAmerica, says, “They belong to a group that is determined to improve through sharing and where members support each other’s success through discussing best practices, sharing experiences and building professional relationships.”

Each firm undergoes a rigorous quality review prior to obtaining membership. CPAmerica is a member of Crowe Global, which has members in more than 750 offices in more than 130 countries and ranks among the top 10 global accounting networks.

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Gelman Rosenberg & Freedman CPAs Announces New Office and Name – GRF CPAs & Advisors

Bethesda, Md.-based Gelman Rosenberg & Freedman CPAs (FY18 net revenue of $25.8 million) has rebranded as GRF CPAs & Advisors and has moved into a new office in Bethesda, at 4550 Montgomery Ave.

“The new name reflects the firm’s growing advisory services practice and signals an increasingly diverse client base of nonprofits and associations, private businesses, government contractors and individuals,” the firm announced. The firm has launched a risk and advisory services practice while expanding its technical resources for government contractor clients.

“While these changes punctuate an exciting new chapter for our firm, our leadership is still committed to GRF’s legacy of exceptional client service supported by a unique firm culture where employees are valued and celebrated. Our mission and values are unchanged,” says  president and MP Jackie Cardello. “True to the firm’s values, GRF has several community service projects planned in the coming months.”

GRF has served clients locally, nationally and internationally for more than 38 years, and is best known for its nonprofit focus. The firm provides services to more than 600 tax-exempt organizations annually including international non-governmental organizations, trade and membership associations, human and social service organizations, cultural arts organizations, private foundations, faith-based organizations, public interest organizations and other charitable institutions.

GRF’s work with international clients has taken team members to over 100 countries. The firm also serves a variety of small and community-based nonprofit organizations.

GRF’s new corporate logo features overlapping geometric shapes, which reflects the team collaboration necessary to offer clients a more complete solution to support their financial and operational goals. To complement the new branding, the firm also adopted a revised tagline, Personal Service with Powerful Solutions.

Lawrence, Kan., Office of Mize Houser & Company to Become New Firm

Topeka, Kan.-based Mize Houser & Company (FY18 net revenue of $31.9 million) announced that its Lawrence, Kan., office will become Kindred CPA, a separate, independent firm on Oct. 1.

The change, the firm says, is the result of strategic discussions about how to best focus resources among practice areas.

The new firm will be owned and directed by Ken Hite, a shareholder with Mize Houser since 2011. Kevin Kressig and Abram Chrislip will also be directors of the new firm, and professionals and staff of the Lawrence office will transition to Kindred CPA as well.

“Strategically, the Lawrence market for tax and accounting services is unique when compared to our Overland Park and Topeka locations,” says James Hilbert, managing shareholder for Mize Houser. “Serving these clients takes a different approach and leadership to deliver services to a more traditional small business and individual income tax client base.”

“We’re grateful to all the clients we’ve served over our 67-year history of providing accounting, tax and consulting services to the Lawrence community,” Hite says. “Our name is meant to convey the goal to be of kindred minds to those we serve, sharing the worthy goals of our clients, co-workers and the community.” The office location will remain the same.

Dean Dorton Putting Its Bet on Tax at Travers Stakes

Lexington, Ky.-based Dean Dorton Allen Ford (FY18 net revenue of $31.6 million), which specializes in serving the equine industry, will again sponsor Tax, this time as he races in the 150th Travers Stakes at Saratoga Race Course on Aug. 24.

Tax’s road to the Travers Stakes includes placing fourth earlier this year at the Belmont Stakes and his most recent win of the Grade 2 Jim Dandy at Saratoga on July 27. Tax is ridden by jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., trained by Danny Gargan and owned by R. A. Hill Stable, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, Hugh Lynch and Corms Racing Stables.

As Tax continued to progress, it made sense for Dean Dorton to continue to sponsor him, the firm says. “There isn’t a better fit for a horse named Tax,” says Patti Reeves, co-owner of Tax with her husband Dean.

“We are thrilled to continue this sponsorship as Tax competes and it has given us the opportunity to talk more about our brand and our history that is deeply rooted in serving equine clients in such a broad spectrum,” says David Bundy, president and CEO of Dean Dorton. He acknowledges that it’s “somewhat strange” for an accounting firm to sponsor a horse, “but Tax really is the perfect fit and this is a perfect opportunity for us as a firm.”

Dean Dorton has provided extensive accounting, tax and business consulting services to the equine industry since 1979. Dean Dorton’s equine practice serves a variety of equine industry operations including breeding and boarding farms, racing stables, performance horse operations, equine veterinary firms, equine auction firms, industry publications, racetracks, bloodstock agents, equine insurance agencies and industry associations.

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Boeckermann Grafstrom & Mayer Hires First CFO

Clare Chisholm

Bloomington, Minn.-based Boeckermann Grafstrom & Mayer (FY18 net revenue of $19.5 million) announces that Clare Chisholm has joined the firm as its first CFO.

Chisholm will direct and oversee the fiscal functions for Boeckermann Grafstrom & Mayer (BGM), as well as for the other entities of the BGM Group, which includes BGM Wealth Partners, Bridge West, Cornerstone Private Asset Trust Company, Element Technologies and Hunter Advisors.

“Since our founding in 1982, BGM has experienced steady growth,” says COO Brad Mayer. “Our strategic vision for the future includes expanding our service offerings, the industries we serve and our areas of expertise – all to best serve our clients.”

Chisholm, who has more than 25 years of experience, started her career in public accounting, and then transitioned to corporate management, leading finance, IT and operational teams. Prior to joining BGM, she worked for a regional accounting firm as its director of client accounting services and director of finance.

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Moore Colson Joins Technology and Startup Incubator

Atlanta-based Moore Colson (FY18 net revenue of $26.6 million) has joined Digital Ignition of Alpharetta, Ga., an incubator that provides services to new tech companies.

Digital Ignition was first launched in 2016 as a co-working space, but over the last year, officials have expanded the offerings to include attorney, accounting and other incubation services.

Moore Colson says firm experts are on site during regular office hours to assist startups and established companies with accounting-related support. Staff are experts in the specialized financial reporting, tax and IT control requirements facing tech companies, the firm says.

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Alexander Thompson Arnold Admits Marcie Williams as Partner

Marcie Williams

Marcie Williams

Union City, Tenn.-based Alexander Thompson Arnold (FY18 net revenue of $26.6 million) has admitted Marcie Williams to the partnership.

Williams has been with the firm for 12 years in the Jackson, Tenn., office. She is an assurance partner specializing in internal school funds, school districts, single audits, contractors and other for-profit engagements.

“This is a goal I have been working toward for some time,” says Williams. “I have always enjoyed the people I work with and the niches I have developed throughout my career. Becoming a partner in these areas of practice and continuing relationships with my coworkers and clients is not only a privilege but an honor.”

Williams has gained extensive experience in several divisions of ATA, including technical review, which has made her a valuable resource. Additionally, she leads regular internal training sessions and offers guidance to staff and newly acquired firms to maintain quality control standards, the firm announced.

“Marcie has shown exceptional leadership over the past 12 years,” says MP John Whybrew. “She takes initiative and is always a team player.”

ATA has 16 office locations in Tennessee, Indiana, Kentucky and Mississippi. The firm is an alliance member of BDO USA.

Kelli Winter Named Tidwell Group’s New PIC of Audit and Assurance

Kelli Winter

Birmingham, Ala.-based Tidwell Group (FY18 net revenue of $24.1 million) announces that Kelli Winter is the new PIC of audit and assurance.

With extensive experience in real estate and construction accounting, Winter has played an integral role in the audit engagements for affordable housing partnerships financed through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Additionally, her areas of expertise include budgeting, forecasting and mergers, and acquisitions.

“We could not have been more fortunate in our acquisition of the level of talent and capability that Kelli brings to our team. With Kelli managing audit and assurance for Tidwell Group, our ability to continue the growth trajectory of our firm with security and confidence is greatly enhanced,” says MP Barry Tidwell.

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INSIDE Public Accounting Releases Annual Ranking of the Top 400 Accounting Firms

The publishers of INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA), the award-winning newsletter for the public accounting profession, today released the annual ranking of the nation’s 400 largest public accounting firms.

Rankings of The IPA 100…Now in its 29th year, the IPA 100 lists the 100 largest public accounting firms in the U.S., by net revenue. The IPA 100 is made up of the Big 4, which collectively generated over $60 billion in U.S. revenue last year, and 96 national, regional and local firms. The annual rankings and accompanying analysis paint a comprehensive picture of the state of the profession.

Newcomers to The IPA 100…Three firms debuted on the IPA 100 in 2019: No. 91 Tulsa, Okla.-based HoganTaylor LLP; No. 98 Houston-based Briggs & Veselka Co.; and No. 99 Clifton, N.J.-based Sax LLP.

The 2019 IPA 400 Firms…IPA also ranks the next tier of accounting firms, Nos. 101-400.

The 2019 IPA 400 rankings can be accessed here.

Highlights of the 2019 IPA 100 Public Accounting Firms…The Big 4, Deloitte, PwC, EY and KPMG collectively make up nearly 75% of the total U.S. revenue of this year’s IPA 100. Due to their size, IPA excludes metrics of the Big 4 in its analysis. The remaining 96 firms represent $22.2 billion in total revenues and employ more than 100,000 staff. Excluding the Big 4, 45 firms are represented in the IPA $100 Million Club, all with annual revenues exceeding $100 million.

  • Organic growth (excluding mergers) grew this year to 6.7%, up from 6.3% in 2018.
  • More than 110 acquisitions (both traditional CPA firms as well as other non-CPA firms) were reported, pushing the overall growth rate to 9.9%, also up slightly from the 2018 all-growth rate of 9.4%.
  • Organic growth in net income grew to 9.9% this year, an increase from 6.4% in 2018. Factoring in acquisitions, net income growth is up to 12.2%.
  • Average equity partner billing rates now top $450 per hour for the IPA 100.
  • Professional staff turnover (CPAs and other client-serving staff) averaged 16.2% for the IPA 100; with 1 in 5 IPA 100 firms averaging more than 20% professional staff turnover.
  • Eight female managing partners are now at the helm of the IPA 100 firms for the first time since IPA began tracking this data.
  • Average annual equity partner compensation at the IPA 100 is now $660,000.
  • One out of 11 equity partners / owners in a CPA firm are not licensed CPAs.

“As firms continue to expand service lines and seek to hire the most qualified staff to serve clients in many non-traditional services, we’re seeing more non-CPA professionals in the ranks of the IPA 100,” says Mike Platt, principal with INSIDE Public Accounting. “In fact, we discovered that 28% of all client-serving professionals at IPA 100 firms indicated they have no intentions of pursuing a CPA license.”

In-Depth Financial and Operational Benchmarking of the Accounting Profession…Financial and operational analysis of 550 public accounting firms will be published in late September in the 2019 INSIDE Public Accounting National Benchmarking Report.

Subscribe to the IPA newsletter to receive the upcoming benchmarking analyses and in-depth interviews with key leaders within the profession. IPA offers a complimentary news source, the IPA INSIDER E-News Update. Sign up online.

Purchase any of the 2019 IPA benchmarking products, including the IPA National Benchmarking Report, to gain insider strategies.

To interview or engage the partners at INSIDE Public Accounting, please contact Chelsea Summers at (317) 733-1920 or csummers@plattgroupllc.com.

Tidwell Group Adds Six Partners

Birmingham Ala.-based Tidwell Group (FY18 net revenue of $24.1 million), which specializes in affordable housing accounting, announces that it has admitted the following professionals to the partnership: Patty Azallion, William Brookshire, Damien Cassell, Andy Gantzer, Chris Ofat and Jeanne-Marie Smith.

All are based in Columbus, Ohio, except Brookshire and Smith, who are based in Birmingham.

  • Azallion brings over 30 years of experience in accounting and assurance services to the Tidwell Group. She has expertise in internal controls analysis and risk assessment, substantive testing, cash flow and revenue/expense analysis, and preparation of financial statements.
  • Brookshire has more than 12 years of experience with audit, accounting and tax services for multi-family real estate owners, developers and contractors. He brings expertise in the low-income housing and historic tax credits, USDA rural development projects, and final cost certifications to the firm.
  • Cassell offers extensive experience in audit and tax services within a variety of industries, including affordable housing, not-for-profit, manufacturing, construction and real estate.
  • Gantzer is expert in the affordable housing industry, specifically in the areas of auditing the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD), not-for-profit and USDA Rural Development.
  • Ofat has a deep understanding of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program and expertise in the preparation and review of contractor cost certifications. He also has experience in the preparation and review of HUD and Rural Development audit engagements.
  • Smith’s experience is in the real estate industry with specializations in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and HUD-financed projects. She also has extensive experience in real estate development engagements.

“The firm’s trajectory is directly correlated with the quality of the professionals on our team, and these new partners are no exception. I am incredibly excited about the future of our firm,” says MP Barry Tidwell.